Christine McGuinness reveals 'very difficult' lockdown with autistic kids after youngest daughter developed a stutter

CHRISTINE McGuinness has revealed her youngest daughter developed a stutter in lockdown.

The 32-year-old star thinks the change in four-year-old Felicity's speech was down to "anxiety" and the "changes" in lockdown causing her to "regress" in her development.

Christine shares twins Penelope and Leo, 7, and four-year-old Felicity with her husband Paddy, with all three being diagnosed with autism.

“Felicity’s speech wasn’t at the level of other four years olds’ speech but it was pretty good – she could talk, hold a conversation and it was quite clear," Christine told the Mirror.

“The stutter came out the blue and was quite severe – it was every other word. We think it was all down to anxiety, the changes, and because she wasn’t socialising and seeing the other children at nursery.

“She’s been to speech and language therapy a couple of times and her stutter has pretty much gone now. It was just another little hurdle we had to get over. But she’s done it.

“And because autistic children can be non verbal, I thank God every day that my children can speak – even when they argue with each other, at least they can speak. We waited four years to hear them say, ‘mummy’. And when they did it was the best sound in the world.”

Earlier this year Christine shared her heartbreak as she revealed her autistic children have become "physical" with her while struggling with the UK's third lockdown.

She admitted that the situation is "awful" as she shared a private WhatsApp message she'd sent a friend with followers.

The text reads: "I totally understand, all three of mine have got more physical with me and each other recently, it's awful."

Adding a heartbroken and crying emoji, Christine continued: "I barely recognise them sometimes and I just paint a smile on like everything is fine.

"Thinking of you lots, stay strong. This time will pass."

In the caption, the beauty told fans that she'd sent the text to another mother she knew whose children have additional needs.

Opening up, Christine wrote: "Day 1 : Lockdown 3. This may or may not help anyone but this is ‘real life’ I just want to let my SEN families know you are not alone, I hear you, I understand.

"For me personally I feel good, I am very head strong and I love to stay positive but I can’t deny what these lockdowns are doing to my children 😭 my children are not the same little people they were this time last year 💔

"The pandemic is affecting everyone differently, wether it’s your business, your mental health, a loss of life.. Covid is hitting everyone hard in different ways it’s heartbreaking.

"I pray every day 🙏 I hope it passes soon. Thinking of you all, sending love and light to each and every one of you ❤️ (This image is a message I sent to one of my SEN mummy friends this morning) In it together."

Back in January, the star revealed that her children had enjoyed fishfingers and chips for dinner on Christmas Day due to their "food aversion" and fear of trying new textures.

Christine has spoken in the past about how difficult it is for the family to celebrate Christmas, and put up her first Christmas tree in six years last year.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an incurable, lifelong developmental condition that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

It affects around one in 100 people in the UK and is three to four times more common in boys than in girls.

When they are young, their language development may take longer and they can struggle to use facial expressions, using gestures to communicate instead.

Many children with ASD like to follow a routine, and changes to this can cause distress.

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